Urban Renewal

Utopia is a Vacant Lot in Rockaway

On the voids storms and plans leave behind, and what we do with them.

Street Ballet Opera

An ambitious new opera plumbs the humanity and contemporary relevance of two mythic figures of New York City: Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses.

Board to Death?

Community boards promise local democracy, but it takes more to translate neighborhood visions into reality.

In the Same Room Without Screaming

Can public art, oral history, and open dialogue help rebuild burned bridges between estranged community groups? Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani recounts her experience in the Lower East Side's Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA).

"The scythe of progress must move northward”: Urban Renewal on the Upper West Side

Oksana Mironova documents varied approaches to City-led redevelopment in Lincoln Square and the West Side Urban Renewal Area and calls for an evolution of contemporary rezonings to prioritize the preservation of existing communities.

The Landscape of Housing: Twin Parks Northwest 40 Years On

Susanne Schindler and Juliette Spertus revisit Twin Parks with its original designers, 40 years after its construction, to pose some complex questions about the role of design in defining the success of low-income housing.

Living Lofts: The Evolution of the Cast Iron District

Yukie Ohta looks at the dramatic transformation of SoHo over the past 50 years, from a center for light manufacturing, to a desolate and dangerous wasteland, to one of the most affluent neighborhoods in New York.

Stuyvesant Town: This is Your Home

Elements of Composition: When Void Calls for Action

It is not often that one think about emptiness in New York. In a highly dense city, void inevitably raises questions about the production, ownership and use of space. Elements of Composition, a two-part project presented by the Rotterdam-based artist collective Bik Van der Pol, exhorts us to (re-)evaluate these issues. The project...

Forever Trapped Between Jacobs and Moses

Who would vote to replace their neighborhood playground with a sewage treatment plant? But what about finding a “third way” between the extremes of destruction and fossilization, of megalomania and retrenchment.